If you are truly committed to growing your business online, you will need a content marketing strategy. An important part of any content marketing strategy is maintaining a regular content publishing schedule.
So … what happens to your content publishing schedule if you have to step away for a while?
WordPress has a really neat hidden feature that allows you to postdate your posts. This is a very useful feature that lots of WP site owners haven’t discovered yet. In this latest installment of our WordPress tutorial series, we will show you how to schedule WP blog posts for publishing at a later date.
Publishing great content on your WordPress blog on a regular basis helps you get more pages indexed by search engines, drive new visitors to your site and keep your blog readers returning for more information.
There are instances, however, where you don’t necessarily want your content to appear when you hit the publish button.
For example, here are some instances when you may not want your blog post to go live immediately after adding it to the WordPress CMS:
- You need to travel but you still want to publish blog posts on your site regularly while you’re away.
- You want an already published post removed and automatically published again at a future time and date.
- You want to distribute a daily update with the latest news about a certain topic for your blog readers, but they live in a different time zone than you. You want them to receive your posts each day at the same time, but this means that you’d have to be awake at odd hours of the night to publish your post.
- You set aside one day each week to create a whole week’s worth of articles for your website, or you outsource your article writing to freelancers who send you many articles each month, but you don’t want to publish all of your new content at the same time!
- You set up an online training course and would like the content drip-fed to members over a period of time.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could just add a whole bunch of articles to your site at once, and then have it automatically “drip-fed” to your blog so that only one new article gets published each day, or week, or every few days?
You could then implement a “set and forget” system for scheduling and publishing new content on your blog that would keep your visitors regularly engaged, and free up your time to work on other areas of your business … or leave for a while and know that your blog is still working for you while you’re gone.
Well … with WordPress you can! You can set a date in the future to publish your posts and WordPress will schedule and automatically publish or republish your posts exactly as you specify.
In this tutorial, we are going to show you a little-known function that lets you schedule WP posts to publish at a future date, as well as great tips on article scheduling.
Go through the tutorial below to learn more about how to schedule posts in WordPress.
How To Schedule WordPress Blog Posts – Step-By-Step Tutorial
WordPress lets you edit the date/time of your published blog posts, including setting exact dates and times in the future. This lets you create or add content to your website, which can then be preconfigured to go live at any given date and time of your choice.
You can schedule existing WordPress posts to publish at a future time with the Quick Edit feature when viewing a list of all posts, or you can schedule them when you’re making changes to your posts.
Scheduling WordPress Posts Using The Quick Edit Feature
To schedule posts in WordPress using the Quick Edit method,
Log into your WP admin area and click on Posts > All Posts …
(Add New Post)
In your Posts page, find the item you want to schedule, then hover your mouse over the post title to display the options menu and click on Quick Edit…
(Posts Screen – Quick Edit)
The Quick Edit editor expands to display all of the “Quick Edit” options for editing posts …
(In-line Editor Section)
Go to the “Date” feature …
(Date Settings – Quick Edit Screen)
WordPress lets you set the date and time of your post, just by entering new values in the fields and choosing options from a drop-down menu …
(Change Post date and time)
Useful Tip: You can schedule WordPress posts in the future or backdate post dates to show posts as having been published prior to the original publishing date.
This is useful if, for example, you’ve been away and would like to publish an account of your day-to-day events and would like your blog posts to match the actual dates you’ve been away. Another reason to backdate your posts would be to give a brand new blog a little bit more of an “established” look. Alternatively, you can set all posts to publish in the future if you plan to launch a new site at a future time.
Change the date of your post to any date (and time) you would like your post to display as having been published (future or past) …
(Posts scheduled to publish at a later date)
Note: To schedule a post in the PM, you will need to use the 24-hour clock. For example, to display 1:00 PM enter 13:00 in the scheduling section. The time your post will actually get published depends on the location settings specified in your Settings > General area.
Remember to click the Update button to save your changes …
(Click the ‘Update’ button to save your changes)
Your saved post will now show as being “Scheduled” in your Table of Posts …
Your post status will also display as being “Scheduled” inside the Quick Edit > Status area …
(Quick Edit – ‘Scheduled’ post status)
Scheduling Posts In WordPress When Adding And Editing Posts
If you are creating a new post, you can schedule your post to publish at a future date and time, by clicking on Publish immediately > Edit…
(Post publish section – Publish settings)
Change the date (and time if you want) of your post and click the OK button …
(Change Post date)
Remember to click Schedule to save your settings …
(Click ’Schedule’ to update your post settings)
Tip: To backdate a post in WordPress, simply edit the date before you click the Publish button, as described above. In this case, the button will not change to Schedule.
Your post is now scheduled to publish on the date and time you have entered …
(Post schedule notification)
If you are editing an existing post, you can schedule the post to be republished at a future date by clicking on the Edit link next to the Published on: field …
(Post publish section – Edit)
Change the date (and time if you want) of your post and click OK …
(Click ‘OK’ to set your new date and time settings)
Click the Schedule button to update your republishing settings …
Your post will now show as being scheduled inside the Post Edit > Publish area …
(Publish box – Post status: ‘Scheduled’)
Your post will now show as ”Scheduled” in your Table of Posts …
(Table of Posts – Post status)
You can also see which scheduled posts are queued for publishing in your WP dashboard’s ‘Activity’ panel …
(WP Dashboard – Activity screen)
Let’s show you now how to republish existing blog posts.
Useful Tip: The above method also works for editing WordPress pages.
How To Republish A WordPress Post
In some situations, you may decide to republish an old post. If you do, there are a few options you can choose:
Edit Post Date And Time
You can reschedule your post by changing the date and the time the post was published. Enter a new date (and time) and click Schedule.
When the scheduled time arrives, the post will jump from its current place in your timeline to the most recent spot on your blog and display the new date and time. The link for the post will also change to reflect the new publication date.
Note: When you reschedule a post, it will not redistribute to your email subscribers. If you need your post to be redistributed to your email subscribers, use the option below.
Edit Post Status
You can republish your post simply by changing the status of your post to Draft, clicking Update, and then clicking Publish again …
(Republish your post)
When you do this, the post will immediately be redistributed to your email subscribers. However, the publication date and time will not change, so the post’s link and position in the timeline will stay the same.
Tip: If you want a republished post to show up first on your site, you can always make it “sticky” …
(Tick box to make post sticky)
Learn more about making posts sticky here:
How To Unschedule A Blog Post
If you’ve scheduled a blog post to publish later, but then change your mind and want to publish it immediately, just go back to the Edit Post screen for your scheduled post.
(Post – Edit)
In the Publish section, click on the “Edit” link next to the date you have scheduled your blog post to publish:
(Publish box – Edit)
Now, just enter today’s date and time (tip: if you’re not sure of the exact time just type in an hour or two earlier than your current time) as your scheduled post time and click OK …
(Click the ‘OK’ button to set your new date settings)
Click Publish …
(Post publish section)
Your post will now publish right away …
(Post publish section – Post status: ‘Published’)
Troubleshooting Scheduled Posts
If your scheduled post failed to publish when the scheduled time arrived, check the following:
- Is your timezone set correctly in your Settings > General section?
- Check the Post Status. Did you save the post as a “Draft” instead of scheduling it?
- Did you remember to click the “Schedule” button after modifying the date/time settings? For a post to publish, the Schedule button must be clicked.
- Did you schedule too many posts for publishing? Are you using bulk post scheduling plugins to queue up thousands of posts? Depending on the resources of your web server, you could experience problems. If so, try decreasing the number of scheduled posts and see if this fixes the issue.
Automating Post Scheduling With WP Plugins
You can automate certain aspects of publishing and scheduling content in WordPress using plugins.
Queuing Posts For Publishing
(Queue Posts WordPress Plugin)
Queue Posts is a free plugin that lets you queue new posts and pages for publishing later at a specified interval.
When you create a new post or page, the plugin gives you the option of queuing the post for publishing later …
(Post Publish Box – Queue)
This is great if you are scheduling multiple posts for publishing at a later date and would like these to be published in a certain order, or between specific times and intervals …
(Queue Posts – Settings)
For more information about this plugin, visit the plugin’s website here:
Bulk Schedule Posts
There are a number of WordPress plugins that let you “autoblog” (adding content automatically to WordPress sites).
(AutoPost Scheduler – WordPress Plugin)
Auto Post Scheduler is a free plugin that will schedule ‘auto post checks’ to publish new posts and/or recycle old posts automatically.
Use a plugin like Auto Post Scheduler to publish new posts and/or recycle old posts automatically. There’s no need to schedule post times individually and recycling older posts can revitalize traffic.
This plugin is especially useful when importing a large number of posts, as you can set the Auto Post Scheduler to publish posts at whatever frequency you choose as well as specify a range of other settings …
(AutoPost Scheduler Options screen)
To learn more, go here: Auto Post Scheduler – WordPress Plugin
Although you may not want to use all of the features of an “autoblogging” plugin, a plugin like WP Robot includes a module that allows you to import bulk posts or article files into your WordPress site and then set these to automatically publish at regular or random intervals at a future date.
(WPRobot – WordPress Autoblogging Plugin)
For more details about this plugin, go here: WP Robot – WP Plugin
If you plan to run a membership-style website, most professional WordPress membership plugins allow you to schedule your content to be ‘drip-fed’ to members at intervals that you specify (e.g. every 7 days, etc.).
To learn more about membership plugins that allow you to schedule content delivery, go here:
Fixing “Missed Schedule” Posts
Sometimes WordPress will miss a scheduled post …
To learn how to fix the missed post scheduling issue, see the tutorial below:
Congratulations, now you know how to schedule posts for publishing in WordPress at a later date.
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